To all the women out there, we need to have each other’s backs.

There are men in our world who are lecherous. Men in power, in all areas of government and business, who prey on women and use their power to take advantage of them.

If you have read the headlines or seen any political ads over the last year you know that our president has a reputation of being one of those men.

This is not a political post. This is a post advising women to help protect each other, and encourage women who have been victims of sexual harassment in the workplace not to be afraid to speak up.  

Sadly, more women than we realize have experienced this kind of unwelcome behavior in their careers.

When a woman finds herself in a situation where she is about to be pawed over it can be an experience that isn’t easy to forget. I know because I’ve experienced those situations and many women I know have lived through them as well. 

Those of us who have worked with a man who groped, touched, or whispered gross words in our ear have learned after the fact that those men had a history and no one spoke up.

I am speaking up. In the past it was all about keeping quiet, not spreading rumors, and women didn’t confide in others about the behavior they were subjected to.

And women don’t have to fight this alone. Men need to become our allies. If a male co-worker hears someone bragging about the women he’s touched and uses sexual words to describe the women in the office, please be courageous and tell him his behavior is actually sexual harassment.

More importantly, if he continues his behavior don’t be afraid to report him.

If you or a friend are about to enter the workforce, even as an intern, consider taking a self-defense course before you start. You will feel confident, prepared, and exude a presence that says, “Don’t mess with me.”

Demand respect, all women deserve that. No one deserves to feel threatened, mistreated or scared in the workplace. 

Be confident and don’t be afraid to speak up or hold someone accountable for their inappropriate behavior. And if questionable behavior is occurring, record it with your phone. Don’t be afraid to contact your HR department and notify them of what is going on. 

Trust me, no job is so great that you have to accept behavior that is demeaning and disgusting.

Be aware of the signs, watch out for one another, and don’t be afraid to speak up. We are valuable, powerful and strong.